From basketball and football to hockey and baseball, professional sports are performed (mostly) for entertainment purposes. While professional athletes earn millions of dollars to play the games they love most, they’re also subjecting themselves to some pretty harsh conditions. Endless hours of training, restricted diets, working through injury, and the risk of life-threatening injuries are all serious concerns that professional athletes must face each time they step onto the field, court, or rink. Which is why wearing safety equipment is so important. Some injuries can’t be prevented, but important safety gear helps reduce the risk of some sports-related injuries. Keep reading to find out what some of these items are and how they offer protection for athletes, professional and otherwise.
Mouth guards are used in several popular sports including football, basketball, hockey, baseball, and professional fighting to help protect the athletes’ mouth and teeth. Your teeth are relatively strong and resilient, but in high-contact sports, they’re a main target for severe injury. In contact sports like football and hockey, a mouth guard helps protect the mouth and teeth when players are tackled or collide with other players. No sport needs a mouth guard more than MMA (mixed martial arts) fighting or boxing. After all, the entire premise behind these sports is to punch one another in the face, putting your teeth at the center of the action. Countless athletes have lost or chipped teeth due to professional fighting. You may need to research ways to improve your smile after such an event. Wearing a mouth guard can help reduce your risk of needing cosmetic dentistry.
While this piece of athletic equipment is only used by male athletes, it still plays an important role in sports safety. Cups are commonly used in baseball and football to help protect and support the male genitals during vigorous activity or contact sports. A cup, also known as a jock strap or athletic supporter, help hold the male genitals high and close to the body. This not only reduces friction during sports like cycling, but also protects the sensitive male testicles from being struck by a ball, stick, bat, or another player’s body.
Helmets are the most highly recognized piece of sports safety equipment and are used across many different activities. The most obvious being football, followed by hockey. Baseball players wear helmets when up to bat and cyclists wear them while riding. The most obvious reason for a helmet is to protect a player’s head from injury. They also cut down on the risk of a concussion, which is one of the most common sports injuries. Concussions can have long-term effects on the cognitive function of many athletes even following retirement.
Pads are another common piece of safety equipment found in sports like football and hockey. Pads are used to protect other areas of the body in contact sports including the chest and legs. When players are pushed, shoved, or knocked down, their internal organs are subject to bruising and even rupture. The same holds true for fragile bones like the ribs, arms, and legs. Even strong bones can fall victim to breaks and fractures due to impact. Pads help reduce (but not completely eliminate) this risk.
Both professional and amateur sports are played for entertainment, fun, and competition. While there are many benefits to being part of a sports team, it’s important to practice safety. And your first line of defense against injury is wearing the proper safety gear and equipment. Don’t skip these essential items the next time you head out on the field or court.
Article Submitted By Community Writer